Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?
My company Gateway Workshops has been running for 19 years. We offer over 50 massage and beauty training courses and qualifications across 20 venues in the UK and we have recently started offering online courses to our students. I started out as a tutor teaching Indian head massage and Reiki/Seichem Healing. Whilst teaching I became aware of many students’ upsetting stories telling me that their training elsewhere was disappointing.
I knew of many excellent tutors who did not have the time to promote themselves, a seed was sown which took me on to the next stage of my journey. I gave up teaching in 1998 and dedicated myself to promoting others, I have spent every year carefully selecting tutors of a very high standard and building the company to offer excellent accredited courses.
[plsc_pullquote align=”right”]“There are no failures only lessons to learn”[/plsc_pullquote]
I overcame ME to start Gateway Workshops in London then moved to Brighton 15 years later. I live with my wife, and several 4 legged friends; our 2 cats and a dog called Maisie.
I am passionate about our school which offers a team of special tutors; they all have excellent communication skills, a wealth of knowledge and care with great passion. Over the last 19 years we have taught thousands of students from all over the UK and abroad.
Testament to the good work we are doing, our feedback over the years has been wonderful. We are also very proud of the awards we have won for our training.
How has your Designated PA contributed to any of your recent successes?
Delegating tasks to my PA Hannah has been very successful and taken a huge weight off my shoulders. It is so nice to feel that you have a professional looking after your daily requirements. Hannah is proactive and works with me to make my day run smoothly, it is a pleasure to be organised. That’s where a professional service has made all the difference to me.
How does your Designated PA help you on a day to day basis?
Hannah works for me every day, checking my emails and responding to customer enquiries. It has been a steep leaning curve as there is a lot to learn and no two enquires are the same. She also moderates my Facebook and Twitter pages and responds to customer enquiries. In addition Hannah has taken over the issuing of invoices and receipts for deposit payment for students.
What is a typical working day like for you?
My days are filled with spinning lots of different plates! Primarily making sure that both
students and tutors are taken care of and offered an excellent service. I need to make sure that everything behind the scenes is running smoothly for students, from the moment they book their chosen course, arrive at the venue, do their course, to the after care. Ensuring a seamless service from beginning to the end.
A big part of my day is keeping up with the requirement of the website. I work with an excellent web team and ensure that the website is constantly evolving and updated to make sure we are offering up to date course information, etc.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Gateway Workshops started from nothing 19 years ago and I have grown it from a very small company taking pride and time to build it slowly and considerately to what it has become today. My biggest achievement was winning the Bobbi Brown contract to train all their UK Staff in the GW Beautiful Brows. I was also very proud that Gateway was asked to train the make up artists for British soap Hollyoaks on Channel 4. Being a trusted training provider has also meant that we have worked with some large professional salons like Dior, the Mandarin Oriental Spa and the Sanctuary.
What success do you still strive for?
I like to ensure that we continue to offer the latest training courses that are in demand, as well as expanding on what we offer and venturing into the new realm of online courses. Whilst doing all that and maintaining the quality of our courses is hugely important to me.
What motivates you?
My biggest motivator is our excellent reputation, it is important to uphold that and ensure all the tutors and students are happy in what they are doing and the material that they are delivering. This is measured by the students’ experiences and knowing that other training providers fall very short of what should be expected, we therefore always try to exceed expectations.
Who inspires you and why?
Powerful and successful women like Oprah Winfrey inspire me. Where the odds have been stacked against them and they have gone on to achieve great things.
What projects are you working on currently? And which one excites you most?
There are always new projects in the pipeline to ensure our courses are kept up to date with the latest trend or ensuring that they meet new guidelines etc. I am particularly enjoying expanding our online courses to offer new products in this area. We have lots of new and exciting online products that are being tested and prepared ready to be launched.
What is the hardest thing you have done in your career so far?
I spent many years whilst developing the business trying to do every single job myself from accounting to marketing. I’ve had to learn as I’ve gone alone with no training but it’s made me the person I am today
Best bit of advice you have received?
“There are no failures only lessons to learn”
Advice you would give to others?
You can’t please all the people all the time and we can only do our best. If it comes from the heart that should be good enough.
What would you not leave the house without?
Sadly, it’s my phone – it is always by my side!
One rule you live by?
Things you buy in bulk?
An amazing fact about you?
When I left school, I trained to be a florist!
Favourite restaurant and why?
When we lived in London, we loved visiting Murano’s in Mayfair. Angela Hartnett took it over from Gordan Ramsay, not only do we love her food, but she’s another powerful woman to admire.
Preferred way to spend Sunday afternoon?
Watching a film with my wife, my animals and big cup of tea.
Favourite movie or book and why?
The Matrix is my favourite movie – I love its powerful message.
Favourite city hotel and why?
Venice is my favourite city, however my favourite city hotel has to be the savoy hotel in London, they have excellent service and the location is very central and my wife loves their cocktail bar! We also spent our wedding night before our honeymoon overseas at the Savoy so it has happy memories.
– Sue Bailey, Director Gateway Workshops Ltd
For more information about Gateway Workshops or if you are looking for a career in the massage or beauty industry visit the Gateway Workshops website.
Designated PA would like to thank Sue Bailey for taking the time out of a busy schedule to talk to us.